- Combination skin is facial skin that has both oily and dry areas.
- Toners for combination skin are designed to cleanse the skin without drying it out.
- Ingredients such as salicylic acid, lactic acid and witch hazel are particularly beneficial for combination skin.
- Toners that contain simple alcohols and synthetic fragrances may irritate the skin.
However, if you have combination skin—both oily and dry areas—finding the right product can be challenging. Ideally, your toner should effectively clean the oily parts of your face without dehydrating the dry areas.
Best Toner for Combination Skin
There are many toners on the market that have been specifically formulated for combination skin. They are designed to effectively cleanse your pores and remove excess oil while hydrating the dry patches of skin.
Some toners can also help balance the pH of your skin. Your skin has a natural pH of about 5, a slightly acidic environment that supports skin health. Many pH-balancing toners are available to help keep your skin’s pH level in a healthy range, which helps your skin retain moisture and prevent the signs of premature aging.
Ingredients to look for
When choosing a toner for combination skin, look for ingredients that have both oil-absorbing and hydrating properties, such as:
- Salicylic acid
- Lactic acid
- Witch hazel
Salicylic Acid Toner for Combination Skin
Those with combination skin often have to manage acne induced by oily skin as well as dry patches. Salicylic acid (SA) is an oil-soluble beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is commonly used in skin toners for its ability to penetrate deep into the skin and dissolve the pore-clogging debris that can cause breakouts.
Research shows that SA can be useful in the treatment and management of acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid in a topical application has also been found to be effective in treating dry and flaking skin.
Lactic Acid Toner for Combination Skin
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is used in a wide range of skin care products. For those with combination skin, it serves a dual purpose.
AHA has excellent exfoliating properties that aid in removing dead skin cells and promoting the growth of new, healthy skin, which can help reduce oiliness. Additionally, lactic acid is a known moisturizer; it increases water retention to help address any dry patches on the face.
Lactic acid can leave your skin more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to apply a high SPF sunscreen before going outdoors.
Witch Hazel Toner for Combination Skin
Derived from a flowering plant native to North America and Japan, witch hazel is an increasingly popular toner ingredient in recent years. Witch hazel contains tannins, which have an astringent effect on the skin and can help tighten pores and remove excess oil.
While witch hazel can exacerbate dry skin if it is overused; when used in moderation, it has been found to soothe inflamed and dry skin. Witch hazel’s ability to both reduce excess oil and relieve dry skin makes it an effective active ingredient in a combination skin toner.
Choosing a Toner for Your Combination Skin
Selecting a toner is not only a matter of knowing which ingredients to look for – you also need to know which ingredients to avoid.
Some people may find that simple alcohols—such as ethanol and isopropyl alcohol—are overly drying, irritating and even damaging to the skin. Similarly, people with sensitive skin should avoid toners that contain synthetic fragrances, as they are a common allergy trigger and may irritate the skin.
DIY Toner for Combination Skin
While there are many commercial toners available for combination skin, it is also possible to make your own at home.
The addition of rose water to the toner may provide a soothing, calming effect. Additionally, rose extracts have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial for oily and dry skin, respectively, making it a good choice for combination skin.
Consider adding an essential oil to add to your toner, based on your particular skin.
Some citrus oils, such as lime, orange and lemon, have been found to treat oily skin while cassie oil can be used to address dry skin. Others, such as carrot seed oil, have been found to treat both dry and oily complexions. Choose the oil that you feel will provide you the most benefit.
Some users report positive results from the following recipe:
- 1/4 cup witch hazel
- 1/4 cup rose water
- Several drops of your favorite essential oil
Combine the ingredients in a small container or bottle and shake well. Use this DIY toner as a face mist or apply with a cotton ball.
Combination skin requires a toner that both cleanses the oily areas of skin properly and hydrates the dry areas. There are several ingredients that are beneficial for combination skin, including salicylic acid, lactic acid and witch hazel.
Many commercial toners are available to choose from to meet your specific skin concerns but you can also make an effective toner at home using simple, natural, inexpensive ingredients. You can also individualize your toner with the addition of an essential oil to reap additional benefits.
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